Finding a Job: Moving from Employment to Engagement

Previously, we talked about the challenges of finding gainful employment and how the rules are changing when identifying and interviewing for an opportunity.  Employers are savvy and know they can benefit from the amazing resources and talent available – so how do you make yourself standout from the crowd?

Consider the old way versus the new:  employ vs. engage.  Not only is this a different process, it’s also a mindset.  Companies are looking for talent that is fresh, updated, are quick learners and who can take the ball and run with it.  More of a “here’s what I can do for you” versus the old “here’s what I can do.”

Engagement is about getting people’s attention, offering something of value and then creating buy-in or participation.  It’s not spouting your accomplishments or data dumping, waiting for the other person to be impressed. 

As a Baby Boomer, your 30 years of stability aren’t necessarily a bonus – they may signal lack or creativity or innovation to a different generation.  Don’t take that as a personal slight – it’s just one more way the employment process has changed.  Instead, identify key successes, challenges resolved and obstacles you overcame to demonstrate your value and skills.

When writing UPSIDE, Bonnie and I were very aware of these shifts, so we dedicated an entire chapter on how to leverage your value by identifying your existing marketable skills.  You can download one of the key exercises, the Power Core, to jumpstart the process for free (http://upsidethebook.com/downloads.html).  Once you determine which skills are valuable in the current economy, you can then start identifying which industries need your abilities and offer opportunities.

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